OMG! This Is How To Use Abbreviations Like A Native

Sep 5, 2018 | Advanced Vocabulary, English Conversation

OMG and FYI! Do native speakers use these abbreviations in speaking? This was a question one of my students asked me recently. The answer is: yes! We definitely use abbreviations in daily conversation. I’ll show you how.

The truth is, you’re probably already doing this. For example, have you ever said U.S.A. instead of United States of America? If so, then you’re definitely using abbreviations when speaking.

But what about common Internet slang like FOMO and OMG? Or how about those common business abbreviations like ASAP and COB.

In today’s video, you’ll learn about two different types so you know how to use abbreviations correctly. And I’ll share some popular examples for daily conversation.

How to use modern and popular abbreviations in conversation.

Lesson by Annemarie

Additional Examples of How to Use Abbreviations in Conversation

In the video lesson, I highlighted how we use FYI, OMG, WTF, TMI, FOMO, and TGIF in English conversation.

Here are several more examples that are commonly used today. Note: These are all initialisms, which means you say each individual letter.

Abbreviations that are common at work:

  • ETA – estimated time of arrival
    • What is the ETA on that report you are writing?
  • TBA – to be announced, to be advised
    • The date for the big client meeting is still TBA
  • BTW – by the way
    • BTW, the boss needs to see you in her office in five minutes.
  • COB – close of business
    • Can you get me those documents by COB?


These abbreviations are used a lot in daily life:

  • BFF – best friends forever
    • This is my BFF, we have known each other since kindergarten
  • DIY – Do it yourself.  We use this especially about art, craft, and work by hand.
    • She bought an old house that needs work because she loves DIY.
  • DM – direct message, meaning send an online message to me personally.
    • If you need more information just DM me.  


Finally, these are the abbreviations you can use instead of swearing. These are not the kind of things you would normally say at work, depending on where you work and who you work with of course.

  • BS – this means bulls$#%, so it really it means garbage.
    • He was talking a lot of BS.
  • AF – this means as f$#% and is used in place of so, really or very
    • She is smart AF.
  • NFI – this means ‘no f$#@ing idea’ which really means ‘I really don’t know’
    • She has been gone for hours and I have NFI where she is.

Related Lessons

If you’re interested in this topic, be sure to check out my Confident English lesson on Common Internet and Social Media Slang in English.

Now it’s your turn to practice!

How would you use abbreviations to shorten these sentences?

  1. Please call me back really soon, it is urgent!  
  2. I’m totally bummed I’m going to miss the party this weekend! Everyone else is going.
  3. Oh my goodness, what on earth happened here?

Share your answers with me in the comments section below.

Have a fantastic Confident English Wednesday!

~ Annemarie

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